Known as the Light of the East, Guwahati is the largest city in Assam and is considered to be the Gateway to North East India. This beautiful city is one of the major riverine port cities in India and is growing rapidly at a very fast pace. It is a picturesque place with an amalgamation of both modernity and tradition. This city is mostly made of concrete and glass but at the same time, it has a lot of old colonial mansions and traditional architectural houses, beautiful temples and ancient ruins to explore. This captivating city is flocked with tourists and pilgrims from all over the world every year.This beautiful city derives its name from two Assamese words, Guwa, which means Areca Nut and Haat, which means Market. Guwahati is also known as the City of Temples. It is home to the famous Kamakhya Temple, which is one of the oldest temples in India. This alluring citywas formerly known as Pragjyotishpur. Guwahati is also the commercial and cultural hub of Assam. The capital of the state of Assam is Dispur, which is also located in Guwahati.
Guwahati is rich in diversity and has a very strong cultural, religious and social significance.There are different communities of people living together in Guwahati. Music, arts and dance are very important elements, which formthe major cultural activities in Assam. The most important dance forms are Bihu and Sattriya. Sattriya is a classical dance form that was established by Srimanta Sankardeva, a great saint and patron of the Vaishnava Dharma. Bihu is a folk dance, which is extremely popular. Bihu is also the most important festivalin Guwahati. There are mainly three different types of Bihu, namely Magh Bihu, Bohag Bihu and Kati Bihu. Majority of the population in Guwahati belong to Hinduism while Islam, Sikh, Christianity, Jainism and Buddhism constitute the rest of the religious pantheon. Every religious festival is celebrated with pomp and vigor. These include Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Diwali, Lakshmi Puja, Eid, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti etc. The rich culture and heritage of this beautiful city is also demonstrated by beautiful handicrafts, artifacts, handloom, paintings, weaving etc. Theatres and films are also very popular. Tourism plays a very important role in building the economy of this city. Other economic activities include the trading and processing of tea, traditional handicraft, handloom, Assam silk, petroleum, terracotta products, pottery, ethnic jewelry, bell metal crafts, real estate, retail etc. The fashion industry in Guwahati is also gaining a lot of momentum. The cuisine in thisdivine city is simply deliciousand lip smacking. Some of the local delicacies to enhance your taste buds are masor tenga, khaar, aloo pitika, meat and vegetables, pickle, bor, pitha, ladu etc.
Some of the major attractions in Guwahati include the Kamakhya Temple, Umananda Temple, Nabagraha Temple, Bhubaneshwari Temple, Ugratara Temple, Basistha Temple, Assam State Museum, Jain Mandir, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Memorial, Guwahati Planetarium, Dighalipukhuri,Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden, Regional Science Centre, Shrimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra among others.
Guwahati is located between the banks of the mighty river Brahmaputra and is surrounded by approximately 18 beautiful hills on the eastern side of the Himalayan mountain range. Guwahati lies on the foothills of the Shillong Plateau and is a fundamental tourist base as it is a gateway to the other states in the northeast. The best time to visit Guwahati is from October to April. Guwahati is very well connected by rail, road and air. The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport is located in Guwahati. All major domestic airlines regularly fly in from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Bangalore etc. The Guwahati railway station in Paltan Bazaar is the busiest junction in Guwahati. This city is well connected to all other major cities in India by train services like Rajdhani Express, Kamrup Express, Northeast Express, Brahmaputra Express etc. which runs to and from Guwahati at different intervals. This principal city is an important junction of three National Highways - 31, 37 and 40. These highways connect Guwahati to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Goalpara,Nagaland, Dibrugarh, Bongaigaon and Jorhat. Accommodation in Guwahati can be found in luxury, five star as well as budget hotels for a pleasant stay.
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